WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- A new look Wahconah girls soccer offense produced two first-half goals.
The same old reliable Wahconah girls soccer defense made sure they were enough in a 2-0 win over Mount Greylock on Monday night.
Noelle Furlong scored both goals, and Michaella Moncecchi backstopped Wahconah to its second shutout win of the season against the Mounties (11-3-1), who are averaging 3.6 goals per game in their other 13 games.
“I would say that is the best defense that we’ve seen,” Mount Greylock coach Tom Ostheimer said. “We saw it down at their place, and we saw it again tonight. This is tournament caliber soccer. We got a taste of it today. We’ve got to learn from it, get better and try to move on.”
Wahconah’s defense got a lead to protect in the 18th minute, when Furlong took a through ball over the top from Maria Gamberoni and carried it into the 18 before slipping a shot past the diving Delaney Babcock (13 saves).
Moments later, Wahconah converted one of its four first-half corner kicks when Furlong knocked home Chloe Accardi’s service from the left-wing corner.
Furlong said Wahconah made an adjustment that helped produce offensive chances for a squad that had just one goal in its last two outings -- both ties against Monument Mountain.
“We changed formations,” she said. “We changed from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3. We needed an offensive push, so we thought if we had three people up top, we’d have more people in the box to crash and get the ball in the net. Because we were struggling with it in the 4-4-2.”
Wahconah (8-1-5) dominated the first 40 minutes, outshooting the Mounties by a margin of 8-1.
Coach Meghan Smith’s side frustrated every Mount Greylock attempt to get the ball up its speedy forwards and generate the offense that has been a mainstay for the Mounties all season.
“I guess one of the things that I feel that we do very well is we guard space,” Smith said. “We don’t truly man mark. We’re aware of people, but we try to worry about those through balls and those splits, so if a body is there, it can’t get to that person. I really think that, as a whole unit, we do a great job filling in space. So then hopefully we’re not chasing players around, and we keep some of our endurance and stamina up.
“I think when we play our game and have a solid one-two defending, that through ball is hard. And that back line is solid. They will chase down, and they protect Michaela [five saves].”
Jilly Cote came up big in that department twice in the second half, clearing balls off the back line when it looked like Mount Greylock might be able to get on the board.
“We kind of turned the game around a bit in the second half,” Ostheimer said. “We came out of the half-time with a lot of energy and worked the corner right away. Jillian Cote had two great saves on the back line. We got it behind their goalie with Jane Skavlem, and she cleared it away. And then, again, another good volley, far post. We get one of those, and we’re right back in it.”
At the other end, Babcock did what she could to withstand Wahconah’s pressure and keep the score from getting out of hand.
“She’s come a long way this year,” Ostheimer said. “Every game, she comes with her ‘A’ game, and she’s been improving. She’s rock solid in there, and she’s got a good back line in front of her.”
Mount Greylock will look to get back in the win column on Friday when it hosts Hoosac Valley -- the only other team to shut out the Mounties in a 0-0 tie back on Oct. 2.
Wahconah, which has not lost since its season opener against Mount Anthony, is home against Lenox on Tuesday.